New book published on Byzantine and Islamic ceramic traditions in southern Jordan and Israel

My new book entitled Ceramics in Transition: Production and Exchange of Late Byzantine – Early Islamic pottery in Southern Transjordan and the Negev is published by Archaeopress, Oxford and available both in print and open access.

This book is based on my work in the field of Near Eastern archaeology and especially on Byzantine and early Islamic ceramic assemblages excavated in southern Jordan and Israel. This book presents geochemical and microscopic analyses of pottery finds from Byzantine, Umayyad and Abbasid period contexts (c. 6th–9th centuries CE) from five archaeological sites, representing different socio-economic contexts: the Jabal Harûn monastery, the village of Khirbet edh-Dharih, the port city of ‘Aqaba/Aila, the town of Elusa in the Negev, and the suburban farmstead of Abu Matar.

This ceramic finds were typo-chronologically categorised and subjected to geochemical and micro-structural characterisation via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (ED-XRF) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS) to geochemically ‘fingerprint’ the sampled ceramics and to identify production clusters, manufacturing techniques, ceramic distribution patterns, and material links between rural-urban communities as well as religious-secular communities.

The ceramic data demonstrate economic wealth continuing into the early Islamic periods in the southern regions, ceramic exchange systems, specialized manufacture and inter-regional, long-distance ceramic transport. The potters who operated in the southern areas in the formative stages of the Islamic period reformulated their craft to follow new influences diffusing from the Islamic centres in the north.